Clay Composition: Paulson vs C&J (1 Viewer)

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I’ve recently put together a new set of THC Solids for use as a cash set. The solids consist of both C&J and Paulson Chips. While cleaning (water, dawn, and a toothbrush) these new purchases I’ve noticed a big difference between the two chips.

The C&J’s are much older, and are filthy. I don’t think they have ever been cleaned before. They take three times as long to clean because of the extra layers of grime. Yet once they’re clean and dry, the clay hasn’t dried out too much. The newer Paulsons are very dry after cleaning. They definitely need oiling afterwards (whereas the C&Js really don’t need oiling). I assume this is due to a different clay composition used by the two manufacturers. Does anyone know the differences between these two “clays”?
 

BGinGA

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The solids consist of both C&J and Paulson Chips....different clay composition used by the two manufacturers. Does anyone know the differences between these two “clays”?
Yes, but they aren't willing or contractually able to tell you what they are.
 
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Okay. I was hoping someone might know, just out of curiosity. They seem like very different materials!
 

FDLmold

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We have some general knowledge of the TR King leaded formula. Things like dry vinyl, barium sulfate, dye, and lead powder. Paulson originated from TR King personnel, who bought the C&J top hat and cane mold, and they probably maintained a lot of that TR King leaded formula when they made leaded chips, but almost nobody has that knowledge. I've never seen much information about non-leaded "clay" chip formulations. I think Burt made the C&J chips, and Burt became ASM then CPC, and that equipment and formulation have not changed much if at all since World War II and maybe before. There is also very little about that formulation out there. So there are people who know, but they have no reason to share the information. The entry barrier to make clay chips though is humongous, and the market is small and saturated. At this point everything about all the clay formulations and manufacturing processes could become public knowledge and still I doubt anybody new would try to start up and make clay chips.
 
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Yes, I think you have it exactly right.

Paul Endy Sr. likely still owned 50% of TRK when his son Paul Endy Jr. (owner of Paul-son) began producing his own chips in Las Vegas around 1972.

I always assumed that the only way that Paul-son was able to set up a factory so quickly and produce from the get-go high quality inlaid chips with complex inserts in more than 20 colors, was because they pilfered a lot of TRK's intellectual property about how to produce chips, including the clay and color formulas.

The below article about Paul Endy Sr. and his T.R. King Co. dates to January 18, 1971. His unnamed "Portland" competitor is of course the Burt Co. No mention of his son's company. I thought people would find the article interesting.

img
 
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sleepypiggly

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The entry barrier to make clay chips though is humongous, and the market is small and saturated. At this point everything about all the clay formulations and manufacturing processes could become public knowledge and still I doubt anybody new would try to start up and make clay chips.

And yet they still have tried, at least on the international market. Matsui Gaming Machine (Japan), for example, in the early 2000s introduced their own "clay" chips on their M mold with their own proprietary formula. The chips were brittle and light, I think around 8grams. But the process is probably very labor intensive and not very profitable and they discontinued them a while ago (I think).

full


The good news is that I've been able to obtain a very insider look into their chip production process - looks very manual.

matsuichipmaking.gif
 

upNdown

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Also, it’s worth mentioning that we know that Paulson has used at least two distinct formulas - leaded up until the late 90s, and unleaded after that. Further, since there is so much weight variance between colors, one could argue that they currently have eighty-whatever different formulas. And we know that C&J chips weren’t leaded, so, definitely different clay.
FWIW, my experience with Paulsons is almost exclusively with the older, leaded formula clay. As a an oil hater, I agree that I’m always saddened by how dry Paulsons get, after cleaning.
 

sleepypiggly

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Also, it’s worth mentioning that we know that Paulson has used at least two distinct formulas - leaded up until the late 90s, and unleaded after that. Further, since there is so much weight variance between colors, one could argue that they currently have eighty-whatever different formulas. And we know that C&J chips weren’t leaded, so, definitely different clay.
I think there are tons of variations, not just leaded vs. unleaded. Every color also has their own quirks that needed to be worked out. BCC for example had not gotten the formula right, and a number of their chips (esp. certain colors) just look dry with visible cracks when new.

For example Paulson have used other metal flakes (other than lead as well). Some of the older chips have very visible "flakes" embedded in the chip, not just lead powder mixed in.

Paulson_Style31-AlphaStrip_02.jpg
 

BearMetal

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The only experience with C&J chips for me have been either The Post or Mint Club. For chips that are between 50 and 60 years old, they are in spectacular condition. Like, sharp edges, built like tanks stacked like bricks.

I'm completely shocked at how awesome they feel after more than a half century. Compare this to either leaded Paulson's or modern day Paulson's, and if anything, they just feel softer and way more fragile.

Even the leaded chips... They just don't feel like they can hold up like the old C&J ones do. And then you combine that with the fact that the hats are super shiny, and they just look and feel like a superior chip.
 

BGinGA

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Yes, I think you have it exactly right.

Paul Endy Sr. likely still owned 50% of TRK when his son Paul Endy Jr. (owner of Paul-son) began producing his own chips in Las Vegas around 1972.

I always assumed that the only way that Paul-son was able to set up a factory so quickly and produce from the get-go high quality inlaid chips with complex inserts in more than 20 colors, was because they pilfered a lot of TRK's intellectual property about how to produce chips, including the clay and color formulas.

The below article about Paul Endy Sr. and his T.R. King Co. dates to January 18, 1971. His unnamed "Portland" competitor is of course the Burt Co. No mention of his son's company. I thought people would find the article interesting.

img
Actually, it was Charles Endy who first started producing clay chips (Top Hat and Cane Company), prior to moving his business to Las Vegas and combining it with his brother's Paul-Son Dice Company. Charlie was a former General Manager at TRK, and much later in life started the Blue Chip Company (with son Mike) after Paulson was merged into GPI. No doubt that insider TRK knowledge came into play with all of his chip-making ventures.
 
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Actually, it was Charles Endy who first started producing clay chips (Top Hat and Cane Company), prior to moving his business to Las Vegas and combining it with his brother's Paul-Son Dice Company. Charlie was a former General Manager at TRK, and much later in life started the Blue Chip Company (with son Mike) after Paulson was merged into GPI. No doubt that insider TRK knowledge came into play with all of his chip-making ventures.

Yes, lots of Endys involved in the history of chip manufacture.

The thing I can't quite figure out is exactly how the "Top Hat and Cane Company" fits into the history of Paul-son and the THC mold. As far as I know, there is not a single "Top Hat and Cane Co." Burt inlaid chip order card uploaded to the ChipGuide. I made a searchable database of all the order card uploads.

The last Christy & Jones/Pat Sullivan inlaid chip order on the THC mold is December 1965. The first Paul-Son inlaid chip order is November 1966 (below). Dozens of Paulson/Burt inlaid chip orders from 1967 to 1971. Very very few new orders in 1972, and the last new chip order is in 1973.

Paul-son continues to re-order with Burt THC LCV chips first ordered in previous years until 1978 (see the MGM card posted below). I think Paul-Son continued with re-orders with Burt, even after they had their own factory up and running, to ensure color matching with the first orders. I shared this with David Spragg, and he thought that the reason that Paul-Son may have continued with Burt for re-orders so late may also have been because Burt owned and had possession of the artwork used to make the original inlays.

I'm wondering if the "Top Hat and Cane Company" was actually an early shell company of Paul-Son, perhaps to do business outside of Nevada, in a similar way as the "C. W. Sisk Co." was created by Paulson to sell chips in California. There was some type of Nevada gaming regulation that limited the ability of Nevada companies to sell gambling supplies out of state, especially to reservation based casinos.

BGinGA, do you know anything else about the "Top Hat and Cane Company"? When they existed or if they had an address in Nevada?

1633214799522.jpeg

1633218608872.png
 
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FDLmold

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And yet they still have tried, at least on the international market. Matsui Gaming Machine (Japan), for example, in the early 2000s introduced their own "clay" chips on their M mold with their own proprietary formula. The chips were brittle and light, I think around 8grams. But the process is probably very labor intensive and not very profitable and they discontinued them a while ago (I think).
And this helps make my point. Hispaniola made clays, gave up. Sold to PGI, they tried it, gave up. Matsui tried it, gave up. I don't think the newer Chinese manufacturers have even tried to make clay chips, probably because they know that no casino would ever buy from them. The only recent new chip starts that have lasted any amount of time are plastic and ceramic. And quite a few of those have failed too. RT Plastics, Chipco, out of business.
 

gmunny

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Yes, lots of Endys involved in the history of chip manufacture.

The thing I can't quite figure out is exactly how the "Top Hat and Cane Company" fits into the history of Paul-son and the THC mold. As far as I know, there is not a single "Top Hat and Cane Co." Burt inlaid chip order card uploaded to the ChipGuide. I made a searchable database of all the order card uploads.

The last Christy & Jones/Pat Sullivan inlaid chip order on the THC mold is December 1965. The first Paul-Son inlaid chip order is November 1966 (below). Dozens of Paulson/Burt inlaid chip orders from 1967 to 1971. Very very few new orders in 1972, and the last new chip order is in 1973.

Paul-son continues to re-order with Burt THC LCV chips first ordered in previous years until 1978 (see the MGM card posted below). I think Paul-Son continued with re-orders with Burt, even after they had their own factory up and running, to ensure color matching with the first orders. I discussed this with David Spragg, and he thought that the reason that Paul-Son may have continued with Burt for re-orders so late may also have been because Burt owned and had possession of the artwork used to make the original inlays.

I'm wondering if the "Top Hat and Cane Company" was actually an early shell company of Paul-Son, perhaps to do business outside of Nevada, in a similar way as the "C. W. Sisk Co." was created by Paulson to sell chips in California. There was some type of Nevada gaming regulation that limited the ability of Nevada companies to sell gambling supplies out of state, especially to reservation based casinos.

BGinGA, do you know anything else about the "Top Hat and Cane Company"? When they existed or if they had an address in Nevada?
Jeff, nothing in the databases on that company?

Mike Endy referred to the Top Hat and Cane Company on the blue board many years ago. Glad i save a few of the posts there before the site was taken down. How I read the below post is that both son's Charlie and Paul Jr worked at TR King. It seems Paul Jr left and started Paulson Card and Dice. I want to say by the name it was only Cards and Dice manufacturing first but don't have any documentation. This appears to be before Paul Sr sold his share of TRK. When Paul Sr sold around 1970, Charlie left and went to join his brother in Vegas and started Top Hat and Cane Company to manufacture chips. Maybe this company was used while they were getting the manufacturing process down and before they actually made any chips?





There was also a related company named Authentic Products that had Top Hat on their sample chip. I think this place had the same address as one of the Paulson offices in vegas.
 

sleepypiggly

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Jeff, nothing in the databases on that company?

Mike Endy referred to the Top Hat and Cane Company on the blue board many years ago. Glad i save a few of the posts there before the site was taken down. How I read the below post is that both son's Charlie and Paul Jr worked at TR King. It seems Paul Jr left and started Paulson Card and Dice. I want to say by the name it was only Cards and Dice manufacturing first but don't have any documentation. This appears to be before Paul Sr sold his share of TRK. When Paul Sr sold around 1970, Charlie left and went to join his brother in Vegas and started Top Hat and Cane Company to manufacture chips. Maybe this company was used while they were getting the manufacturing process down and before they actually made any chips?



There was also a related company named Authentic Products that had Top Hat on their sample chip. I think this place had the same address as one of the Paulson offices in vegas.
As close to from the horse's mouth as it gets... thanks, I am saving these pics...

Also, to narrow down the dates even further, here's the actual Trademark registration for "Top Hat And Cane Inc", first used 1972-04-01.
https://uspto.report/TM/72423184

1633226903054.png
 
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WOW, @gmunny, incredible memory, and @sleepypiggly, incredible sleuthing on the "Top Hat and Cane Co."

So Charles Endy starts "Top Hat" soon after his father sold his portion of TRK, which might be after January 1971 (date of the article in an above post), and maybe in 1972, the date of Sleepypiggly's trademark copyright.

It sounds like they may have started making chips on a second set of THC LCV molds around 1972 in a Los Angeles (?) facility before soon moving everything out to Las Vegas. Very cool to know.
 

sleepypiggly

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So Charles Endy starts "Top Hat" soon after his father sold his portion of TRK, which might be after January 1971 (date of the article in an above post), and maybe in 1972, the date of Sleepypiggly's trademark copyright.
top-hat-and-cane-trademark2.png


So the 1971 timeline seems to be right. They probably started using it then, but only got around to applying for the Trademark in 1972.

1633267136012.png


This is the chip they used as Trademark specimen.

top-hat-and-cane-trademark4.png


Interesting how the original 1973 Trademark registration says they will not sell to the general public, but we know they did, by brochure and other advertising material.
 

allforcharity

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Interesting how the original 1973 Trademark registration says they will not sell to the general public, but we know they did, by brochure and other advertising material.

But weren't sales to the public from their brick and mortar stores and direct from factory done much later? Well into the 1980s?
 

allforcharity

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See this post by @Jeff in Iowa . It references an ad in the Reno Gazette Journal in 1977.

Ah. Well, it's still later than 1973.

I wonder what pushed them to consider selling to the public at all? Not that I mind the decision, otherwise we wouldn't have lots of solids and Starbursts to obtain, as well as fantasy chips, but wouldn't they have known that the profit margin would be almost non-existent or even a consistently losing business model?
 

sleepypiggly

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Ah. Well, it's still later than 1973.

I wonder what pushed them to consider selling to the public at all? Not that I mind the decision, otherwise we wouldn't have lots of solids and Starbursts to obtain, as well as fantasy chips, but wouldn't they have known that the profit margin would be almost non-existent or even a consistently losing business model?
I find it hard to believe that they would be losing money on home market chips. They already have the infrastructure and invested in the capital equipment. Any extra chips they make seems to be just incremental margin.

So I think the answer is money. Always money.
 

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I find it hard to believe that they would be losing money on home market chips. They already have the infrastructure and invested in the capital equipment. Any extra chips they make seems to be just incremental margin.

So I think the answer is money. Always money.
And the fact they had plenty of competition back then (each sale adds to volume and keeps things running)...security was less of an issue (with so many illegal casinos running) and I guess they got stuck with more then one order that was not delivered due to numerous reasons. That would have been dead stock...something that even today still kills plenty of start-ups
 

ekricket

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Ah. Well, it's still later than 1973.

I wonder what pushed them to consider selling to the public at all? Not that I mind the decision, otherwise we wouldn't have lots of solids and Starbursts to obtain, as well as fantasy chips, but wouldn't they have known that the profit margin would be almost non-existent or even a consistently losing business model?
Salesman gonna sale. That’s the key, getting to affect those guys commission.
 

sleepypiggly

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There was also a related company named Authentic Products that had Top Hat on their sample chip. I think this place had the same address as one of the Paulson offices in vegas.
I think I have the same chip somewhere. Same address because it's a company owned by Paulson.

1633309008117.png
 
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